May 212013

Paula and the Pontiacs perform at a benefit to help reopen Jimmy’s Music Club on April 4, 2013. (Robert Morris,

Just when New Orleans officials and the owners of Jimmy’s Music Club were beginning to find some common ground, the city’s independent alcohol board on Tuesday afternoon surprised both of them by rejecting Jimmy’s appeal, essentially offering the club two routes: City Council or the courts. Continue reading »

May 212013

Will McGrew and his mother, Janet McGrew, who said she is proud that her son is standing up for what he believes in. (submitted photo)

jewel bush

The day before his Ben Franklin High School graduation, a time when teenagers might engage in pranks or attend parties with buddies, Will McGrew helped organize a counter protest to the NOLA Needs Peace, Not More Abortion Coalition rally. The action was held on Monday afternoon near the proposed Claiborne Avenue Planned Parenthood site, a controversial new state-of-the art health facility slated to open in 2014. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for next week. Continue reading »

May 212013

(From left) Christopher Davis, Joseph Davis and Sheldon Jefferson (via

Defense attorneys for 15-year-old Sheldon Jefferson and 18-year-old Christopher Davis are trying to convince Judge Franz Zibilich that the confessions the two teens gave to police in the presence of their mothers should not be allowed in their trial on rape and kidnapping charges of a Garden District resident, according to a report by Mike Perlstein of our partners at WWL-TV. A third defendant, Joseph Davis (no relation to Christopher), refused to talk to police, Perlstein reports.

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May 202013

Amid rumors, protests and petitions, a Lower Garden District neighborhood group is asking city recreation officials to hold a public meeting explaining changes for a facility at Annunciation Park.

Meanwhile on Monday night, the association also heard from a resident seeking to open a new coffee shop on Jackson Avenue, met one of the first candidates to begin campaigning openly for the at-large seat that will be open in next year’s New Orleans City Council elections and discussed the problem of loitering at a Magazine Street corner store. Continue reading »

May 202013

Owen Courreges

Has the New Orleans Police Department been cooking the books on the city’s crime stats?  That’s the intimation made by a recent “special report” from the Times-Picayune.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Police Superintendant Ronal Serpas often argue that while New Orleans has a sky-high murder rate, its violent crime rate actually isn’t that bad, and in fact is better than a wide range of cities from New Haven, Connecticut to Orlando, Florida.  Hearing them speak, you might believe that the guy in the mouse suit at DisneyWorld is more likely to demand your wallet at gunpoint than the ribald denizens of Bourbon Street. Continue reading »

May 172013

Purple areas show those that a ladder truck can reach within the national standard of eight minutes under a New Orleans Fire Department redeployment plan set to take place this summer. (Robert Morris,

Despite official assurances that the removal of a ladder-equipped fire truck from the station on Arabella is part of the best possible future for the New Orleans Fire Department, Uptown residents who live nearby continue to worry that their level of fire protection is being reduced. Continue reading »

May 172013

Craig Giesecke

As the weather gets a bit warmer and steamier this week, I’ve been turning my attention more to foods that leave us feeling a bit lighter and healthier. Fortunately, we’re headed into that perfect time of the year when the Creole tomatoes and similar fare will be very affordable and readily available. Continue reading »

May 162013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

There was a time when New Orleans was considered a great place to shop. Dozens of stores, most of them located on Canal Street or nearby, filled specific niches in the marketplace and shoppers from across the city, the region and the state came downtown, especially women in white gloves and high heels like Allan’s mother Miriam Pailet Katz, to shop, eat and enjoy the ambiance of New Orleans.

Then came the suburban flight, the rise of Lakewood Shopping Center and the development of Jefferson Parish as the retail center for the metro area, the region and the state. Most of Canal Street went into the dumps and there were only a few first-class stores in all of Downtown.

Now, eight years after Hurricane Katrina, corporate retailers, for the first time in 50 years, are looking at Downtown New Orleans as a “hot” place to invest their money. Continue reading »

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May 152013

The former Louisiana Seafood at 2900 LaSalle. (Robert Morris,

Cowbell chef Brack May

The chef who launched the popular Cowbell burger joint on Oak Street now plans a family-oriented restaurant with an emphasis on takeout meals in a former Central City seafood market, he told city officials on Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading »